During the MotoGP weekend in Qatar FIM Asia held a board meeting in Doha, hosted by FIM Deputy President and President of Qatar Motor and Motorcyling Federation Nasser Khalifa Al-Atya, where it was decided that one of the main targets was to focus more on women's motorcycling in Asia.
Nasser Khalifa Al-Atya stated that the development of women in motorsport is a matter in which he and QMMF have taken a great interest in. Qatar recently held the first round of the Women's Motocross World Championship as part of the Qatar Motocross Grand Prix for the second consecutive year. At international level women take part in Qatar Superbike Championship; Nina Prinz from Germany competes at the highest level and is no stranger to the podium, and women also take part in the 600cc Super Sport Championship from Europe and the USA andin the Losail Motocross Championship from South America as well as riders who are based in Doha.
The motivation is there in women who want to compete and it is often the opportunity both to develop the necessary skills and the opportunity to participate that is lacking. Hosting some of the members of the FIM Women in Motorsport Commission over MotoGP weekend and also hosting the FIM Asia board members provided a great occasion for us to discuss and plan for the future within the region and Asia.
Mr Wan, the president of FIM Asia and I are committed to support women's motorcycling and racing and our aim is to improve the situation in every country of Asia and then hopefully in the future we can see more female riders also on the track in here, says Ali Dagher, the vice-president of FIM Asia and president of Lebanese Motorcycle Club.
While many Asian countries like Japan, Thailand and Malaysia have been able to build a successful women's series and classes it is a surprise to many that several Middle East countries have also already done a lot for women's motorcycling. Qatar especially promotes and gives opportunities to women riders whilst other Gulf countries like Bahrain and Kuwait are working to get women racers into their championships.
Women should be involved in our sports. In Kuwait we need to build better culture in order to get more female participants and riders and we are working on that, according Hamad Al-Saif of the Kuwait International Automobile Club.
Even in Iran, where the women´s motorcycling has not been recognized that well, there are more than 100 female riders and more than 25 riders officially participating in competitions.
During previous years there was no clear information about women's activities in motorsport among our riders in Iran, so that made us to try to involve them more into activities and finally now we have a delegate as a member in Women in Motorcycling Commission (CFM) of FIM. This membership definitely is a big step for the Iran Federation and especially the Ministry of Sport in Iran. We believe there is a large potential in many capacities and we are looking forward to make motorcycling as an official sport for women with their presence in national and international events, says Fariba Javanmardi, the new member of the CFM commission.
During the meetings in Doha it was also agreed that training possibilities for female riders will be organized in Middle East countries.
For example in Lebanon there are many female riders but the problem is how to train them. Now our aim is to look for young female riders and establish an academy to train them. For this we hope to get support from the FIM and especially from the FIM women's commission, says Dagher.
The FIM Women in Motorcycling commission is really impressed by the work the Asian countries are already doing for the women's motorcycling. During the weekend in Doha we had really interesting discussions with many Asian federation's representatives and for sure we do our best to help these countries to improve the situation of women riders and racers, says FIM Women in Motorcycling commission director Nita Korhonen.